The freedom of your mind, your awareness, your ability to see reality without deceiving yourself is the main point if you want to live a free life.
When do you think you are free?
Almost certainly there are situations in which you feel you have freedom and others where you feel like a prisoner when the conditioning of our society, culture, tradition prevents you from living the life you want.
Most people feel to have freedom:
_If their can buy the things that seem best to you.
_If their can travel the world the way you think is most interesting.
_If their can dress as you like.
_If their can say what you think is right.
_If their can do the job you like the most.
_If their can do fun things that make you feel good.
Apparently today we all seem really very free.
We can choose how to dress, where to live, what religion to profess, what party to vote, what team to cheer, who to attend, what school to choose.
Is this really freedom? I’ll ask you a few questions:
-Can you choose to say what you want, and is it a case that everyone else says it, or almost?
-You can choose what to eat, and is it a case that is the same choice as your friends?
-You can choose how to dress, and is it a case that you dress like everyone else?
-You can choose which religion to follow, and is it a case that is that of your parents or your friends?
It is not that something is imposed on us, but we tend to choose what others choose.
Are we free doing this?
Usually, we focus our attention on the things we can “do”.
I believe that you too measure your freedom on the results you can achieve, or on the concrete things you can accomplish.
But is this is not enough?
Of course, maybe you can choose which religion to practice or not to believe in anything, but almost certainly this will depend on your family, your friends or the environment that you frequent.
Is it your choice or is it the choice of those close to you, and you made it yours?
What is freedom: Do or choose?
Understanding what freedom means is to understand that we are free to do what we want.
But we have to deal with the reactions of others, and not only, as we shall see shortly.
Being free involves a price, so to speak: dealing with the freedom of others.
You can choose not to give a gift to a friend, but you can not choose how he/she will react.
She/he will be free to take offense, not to talk to you for a month, not to give importance to the gift.
Just as I am free to choose, so are you and so do all those who interact with us.
Here’s how it works:
_ You can make the choices you prefer, you are free to do that.
_ Every choice you make will always have consequences.
_ You are responsible for the consequences that arise from your choices, even if you do not like them.
_ You can not control many of these consequences.
Very often fear of negative consequences keeps us from making our choices.
Of course, they are often small fears, like receiving a refusal or being offended by someone.
But fear always triggers when you think something will happen that will not make you feel good.
Usually, the word “fear” makes us think of serious and dangerous things.
In reality, we always have some form of fear when we experience negative emotions.
We do not feel free because we fear something.
This fear is a fear, however small it may be.
It’s not that you’re not free, is that you do not like what could happen if you do what you want to do.
You do not think you have freedom just because you can not control what will happen when you make your choices.
What is the most obvious statement of those who do not feel free?
_ I cannot.
Maybe you would like to avoid that gift but think “I cannot!”.
Or would you like to do something considered ridiculous and think “I cannot!”.
Or maybe you would like to say what you think but others will not like it, and you say “I cannot”.
But why you cannot?
Maybe is because our reality provides only two alternatives, and I can not have one of them:
_ I do not want to. You would like to do something but, thinking about what would happen, you do not want to do it. It seems a contradiction, but it almost always happens that way.
_ I cannot. You would like it and you would do it too, but you are not capable of it.
But I assure you that “I cannot”don’t exist.
_ Or you do not want to because you’re afraid of the consequences, or you cannot because you’re missing something.
_ Saying I do not want is difficult. It means that what you choose is not to do it.
And if others do not like your choice, they will take it with you.You will have no excuses.
But if you say that you cannot do it, then it means that it is not your fault, and the others will not take it with you.
_ You do not want to give a present, but you say you could not because of work.
_ You do not want to go to a party, but you say you cannot for another commitment.
_ You do not want to do a favor, but you say you cannot because you feel bad.
They are often excuses. Ok, I’m always, or almost, sorry.
If you notice, they are always related to work, health or the wishes of other people (usually absent!).
As said being free has a price: face the disapproval of others, because they will not like many of our choices.
_ Then face the fear that others will react badly against us.
_ Even saying I cannot is difficult because it means to admit that you have limits, that you are not capable, that you are inferior to those who, on the contrary, succeed.
I think it would be very useful if you can to get to say, without problems, both I cannot but also I do not want too.
When you are not afraid of what will happen, if you learn to face it, then you will have much more freedom to choose.
Mind you, you can always choose, but the more you think you know how to manage the consequences of your decisions, the more you have the strength to take them.
You do not feel free because we are often afraid of the consequences of your choices.
But you are not omnipotent!
The mistake is to confuse omnipotence with freedom. If you are omnipotent then:
_ Do what you want and consequently, others do what you want.
_ Do as you prefer and life adapts to the big success.
_ Any change you decide to do, you will get the results you have established.
_ Everything goes exactly as you wanted.
But freedom is slightly different, more or less like this:
_ Do what you want and others do what they want.
_ Any change you decide to do, you will get results, it depends on you.
_ Everything goes in a certain way, you make your choices.
_ Do as you prefer and life takes its course.
Being free means having control over yourself.
_ You do everything you want.
Being omnipotent means having control over others and the world.
_ No, this will never be!
But you are free equally!
_ Freedom is your ability to choose.
_ Nobody can take it off.
Sometimes it seems to lose our freedom, but if you look closely, the problem is what others do.
_ You can not control it.
_ What happens after you act, often does not depend on you.
If you learn to distinguish freedom and omnipotence, you realize that no one can stop you making your choices.
Always remember that freedom has a price.
But it is never so high as to renounce our freedom.
Being responsible for the choices we make, accepting the freedom of others, the fact that we can not control what happens after we have acted.
_ Learn to manage the fear that the answers to our decisions are against us.
_ And forget it, it is useless to blame anyone.
_ One thing you might not even know, but the decisions you make are yours.
_ If you do not have information and are wrong, you will pay the consequences of your mistakes.
_ Freedom has a price, it must be paid and you can not give it up.
_ Even if you let me decide for you, is not this a choice?
_ One day you could reproach me of the mistakes and what would I answer?
_ You chose to make me decide.
_ In fact, it will be your choice to do what I decided.
_ On the other hand you can learn how to make decisions in the best way possible.
Do you remember that freedom has a price?
_ Well, we usually try to make it pay to others.
_ We blame those who offer advice, but in the end, the bill always comes to our house.
You can not lose your freedom, you will always be free, or free, and this is not a conviction, but a fortune!
Do you know who is afraid of freedom?
_ Who does not know how to use it better.
And in conclusion consider this:
_ If you give the others the power to decide for yourself, you are making a choice.
_ You have a responsibility for your actions, the account is yours and always comes to be paid.
_ You can not deprive yourself of your freedom, but you can make it a force.
_ If for some this seems a burden, I assure you that you can make a gift.
_ Everything depends on you.